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The Peculiarities of the Educational Process in the American High Schools

In accordance to the grade level, the students in the United States are referred as freshman, sophomore, junior or senior rather than as 9 th, 10 th, 11 th or 12 th graders. During the education in high school, the learners change their classes and teachers for every subject and their grades, scores and attendance records which later are accumulated on an official transcript.

Generally, the seniors must pass and complete a particular number of classes in each core subject. Such requirements embrace:

  • Science (usually three years minimum, including biology, chemistry, physics)
  • Mathematics (usually three years minimum, including algebra, geometry, algebra II, and/or pre-calculus/trigonometry)
  • English (four years)
  • Social Science (various history, government, and economics courses, always including American history)
  • Physical education (at least one year)


Additionally, every high school offers so called “electives” category of subjects, which students choose due to their interests and goals. Moreover, the selection is caused by various factors: funding, resources and curriculum emphases. But, commonly the electives include visual and performing arts, technology, athletics, craftsmanship, publishing and foreign languages.

Furthermore, after passing the required number of courses at the high school level, seniors receive a high school diploma at a graduation ceremony and complete their mandatory school requirement. Besides, during the high school, the learners have an opportunity to  take one or more standardized tests to demonstrate their overall knowledge and learning aptitude (the most common tests are SAT and ACT). Then the results of these exams are submitted to colleges and universities to enhance their chances of admission at the institution of their choice.